KATHY CARR/CARBERRY NEWS-EXPRESS
Sun Country Highway president Kent Rathwell charges his electric car at the new charging station in Carberry on Tuesday morning.
The dream is to turn the Trans-Canada Highway into the "longest, greenest highway in the world."
And to that end, Sun Country Highway has enabled Canada to become the first country in the world to have a coast-to-coast network of stations to power electric cars.
Partnering with more than 80 Canadian businesses and tourist destinations, the wholly Canadian-owned company has installed nearly 100 electric car charging stations at hotels, restaurants and cities along the Trans-Canada so people with electric vehicles can drive across the country — for free.
"We see ourselves as a movement that the average person can actually partake in," SCH founder and president Kent Rathwell said in an interview with CFRA News Talk Radio in Ottawa.
"Electric vehicles start at around $30,000 and migrate up to over $100,000. But it’s something that the average family can still partake in. Now that they can go coast to coast, there’s no excuse on infrastructure and they can save themselves some money."
Rathwell is driving from Newfoundland to B.C. stopping at the free chargers along the way in the hopes of convincing more people to go green.
This week, he rolled his flashy electric Tesla Roadster into Carberry and Virden to charge up at the new charging stations the company installed in those Westman towns.
The chargers, touted as the "world’s fastest level 2 chargers," are placed every 100 to 200 kilometres and can be used free of charge.
"We have embarked on this project to help raise awareness on the capabilities of electric vehicles as efficient and exciting vehicles to drive," he said.
"Our objectives are not only to reduce carbon emissions, but to show the world how renewable energies combined with sustainable forms of transportation, can be the stimulus for the next industrial revolution."
The SCH plan is to ignite regionalized economic development and to simultaneously challenge electric vehicle manufacturers and auto parts suppliers to ramp up plug-in electric vehicle production.
Ultimately, Sun Country Highway hopes to have close to 200 charging stations in total throughout all provinces in Canada.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 13, 2012